Skip to content

    Ulcerative Colitis Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Ulcerative Colitis: When Surgery Is Needed - Topic Overview

    Surgery is likely to be needed for ulcerative colitis for the following reasons.

    • Medicines and nutritional therapy have failed to manage severe symptoms.
    • Toxic megacolon does not respond to medical treatment within 4 days (or sooner in some cases).
    • Holes form in the large intestine. (This is called perforation.)
    • You have colon cancer or a significantly increased risk of cancer. (This risk is found by biopsies.) Or you have a narrowing in the intestine that can't be told apart from cancer. You may need surgery even if you don't have symptoms of active disease.
    • Severe, disabling complications occur outside the colon. But many complications do not respond to surgery.
    • You have severe bleeding that requires ongoing blood transfusions.
    • Slow growth or other serious complications occur in children.

    People may choose to have surgery to improve their quality of life, cure ulcerative colitis, or prevent colon cancer.

    Recommended Related to Ulcerative Colitis

    Your Treatment Options for Ulcerative Colitis

    When you have UC, the right treatment can ease your symptoms and give you fewer flares over time. Many therapies can help, but your options depend on how the condition affects you. Most people take medications called aminosalicylates (5-ASAs) that fight swelling and irritation, also called inflammation, in the gut. It helps to avoid certain foods that trigger flares as well. But if your condition is more severe or those standard treatments stop working, you may need stronger drugs or surgery.

    Read the Your Treatment Options for Ulcerative Colitis article > >

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Ulcerative Colitis: When Surgery Is Needed Topics

    Today on WebMD

    basket of vegetables
    Article
    IBD Overview Slideshow
    Slideshow
     
    Ulcerative Colitis Managing Flares
    Slideshow
    what is ibs
    Article
     

    Supplements UC
    Video
    Ulcerative Colitis Health Check
    Tool
     
    Ulcerative Colitis Diet
    Slideshow
    Ulcerative Colitis Diet Yogurt
    Article
     

    Ulcerative Colitis Surgery
    Slideshow
    Ulcerative Colitis Medications
    Article
     
    Exercising When You Have A GI Disorder
    Article
    Picture Of The Intestines
    Image Collection